An illustration shows a man and a woman sitting in a control room, wearing headsets and plugging aux cables in different loops.

How to speak human

This book takes an unashamedly practical approach. A how-to that hurtles headlong and enthusiastically into the fascinations of science and theories of human communication. It draws on over a decade of working with savvy leaders from organisations around the world, penned with the hope that our experience might help you and others make a difference.

Along the way, we’ll share the ways savvy folk (just like you) have brought these principles into their work to great effect. And, we’ll suggest ideas for how you can apply them, right now, to whatever you’re working on.

Our focus areas — attention, influence and engagement — come from the most common conversations we have every day.

Attention is about cutting through the noise and directing eyeballs exactly where we need them. It’s essential for drawing awareness to new initiatives, and dragging people’s focus back to important ongoing endeavours. It’s an important precursor to engagement and a cognitive framer for learning.

Influence explores the human leadership skills we need to connect with people and teams. It’s not about tricking or manipulating people into short-term change. No, we’re talking about strategies that lead to enduring transformation and ensure great outcomes for everyone involved.

Engagement is right at the centre — the beating heart. It’s a word often flung about by well-meaning HR professionals ...

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